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Are You Losing the Attention of Your Clients, Referral Sources and Prospects?

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Below are some guidelines excerpted and edited from a report on a recent study of professional content for marketing and sales

Take Aways

  • Professional services marketing organizations need to bring more discipline and strategic thinking to content specification, delivery, and analytics.
  • A whopping 25 percent of marketing budgets spent in marketing is largely squandered.
  • The big challenge is how to make the content relevant and how to deliver it.

Professional Services Buyers Don’t Trust Vendor Online Content

You certainly know the true value of what they are vending, but when they seek to convince business buyers of the value, the buyers become suspicious.

According to “better lead yield in the content marketing field,” a new study from the Chief Marketing Office’s Council and netline, business buyers belittle vendors and give much higher marks for content trustworthiness to professional organizations and industry groups, whose information is considered more usable and relevant.

“Buyers are not happy with vendors. Their content [tends to be] overtechnical, product-centric, and self-serving”–and buyers sense this…underscoring the report is the troubling suggestion that a whopping 25 percent of marketing budgets spent in [client retention and business development] is largely squandered because so many companies lack strategies, competencies, and best practices to effectively engage their markets.

With 86 percent of the survey respondents observing that online content plays a “major to moderate role in vendor selection,” the survey underscores the essential role played by online content in influencing professional services purchasing decisions. The most trusted and valued sources of online content cited by 67 percent of the respondents were research and white papers from professional organizations.

Trailing far behind in the trustworthiness category was the 9 percent who named vendor white papers.

“too many vendors are failing buyers with overly promotional and overly technical content that doesn’t adequately address market challenges and customer needs. Professional services buyers are looking for content that’s original, consultative, and highly pertinent to where they are in their decision-making process.”

While about:

  • 47 percent of survey respondents cited professional associations and online communities, as well as industry organizations and groups, as the most valuable in shaping purchase decisions,
  • Online trade publications, 41 percent
  • Seminars and workshops, 41 percent
  • Trade shows, 35 percent.
  •  The top four characteristics valued in professional services content were
  • Breadth and depth of information,
  • Ease of access and understanding,
  • Originality of thinking
  • Timeliness of content.

What do they dislike? Among their peeves:

Too many requirements for downloading

Content that is blatantly promotional

Nonsubstantive or uninformed

Overly technical or complex, or poorly written.

“relevance and trust drive better content performance across the purchase funnel. Peer-powered organizations, including professional communities and industry groups, offer brands the opportunity to access powerful insights into customer audiences, as well as trusted channels for content engagement.”

“Budgets for content marketing have to grow. It’s no longer about putting a brochure or thought leadership piece in the mail and presenting at a conference. You have to address the various audience strategies, particularly around digital, and build those into your go-to-market plan early on.”

Case Studies
Colleen Albiston, cmo for deloitte in canada, sees shorter, more accessible formats, such as video and multimedia, as tools for influencing business audiences. She pointed to a recent deloitte study in which infographics, motion graphics, social media, and other content enabled the company to reach a wider than normal audience of decision makers and key influencers.

Meagan Eisenberg, vice president of demand generation at docusign, said the electronic signature company realized a 65 percent reduction in churn after a content nurturing system was introduced; 25 percent of that gain was within the corporate sales group.


Written by Rich and Co.

June 10, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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